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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.


If You Made Money Buying a 1st Home in the 2000s, You Probably Weren’t Black

In a study recently published in the journal Real Estate Economics, public policy professor Sandra J. Newman and researcher C. Scott Holupka found that race was a key determinate of which low and moderate-income people who bought first homes during the decade made money. During the Great Recession, white homebuyers lost money but black ones lost considerably more. Even during the boom years, when white buyers increased their wealth by 50 percent, black buyers lost 47 percent of their wealth.

Johns Hopkins and DuPont Join Forces to Produce an Improved Ebola Protection Suit

The Johns Hopkins University and DuPont have signed license and collaboration agreements allowing DuPont to commercialize a garment with innovative features from Johns Hopkins to help protect people on the front lines of the Ebola crisis and future deadly infectious disease outbreaks. DuPont intends to have the first of these garments available in the marketplace during the first half of 2016.

Johns Hopkins’ Ebola Protective Suit Honored in Fast Company ‘Innovation by Design Awards’

The Johns Hopkins University’s new personal protective suit for front-line health care workers in Ebola outbreaks has been honored as one of 10 finalists in the Social Good category of Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation by Design Awards.

Tamper-Resistant Pill Dispenser Aims to Stamp Out Medication Misuse

You can whack it with a hammer, attack it with a drill, or even stab it with a screwdriver. But try as you might, you won’t be able to tamper with a high-tech pill dispenser designed by mechanical engineering students at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering. Which is exactly the point.

New Kit May Help Train Global Health Providers to Insert and Remove Contraceptive Implants

To address a global health challenge, a team of Johns Hopkins University biomedical engineering undergraduates has developed a teaching set called the Contraceptive Implant Training Tool Kit or CITT Kit, for short. The medical simulator includes two training models: a stand-alone replica arm and a layered band that can be worn by health workers who act as “patients” during practice sessions.

Who’s Making Sure the Power Stays On?

Electricity systems in the United States are so haphazardly regulated for reliability, it’s nearly impossible for customers to know their true risk of losing service in a major storm, a Johns Hopkins University analysis found.

Johns Hopkins Researchers Partner with Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore to Probe Mercury Levels in Dolphins

Johns Hopkins environmental scientists are collaborating with researchers from Dolphin Island at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore, to learn more about how and where mercury accumulates in the bodies of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

Johns Hopkins Appoints Four to Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships

The Johns Hopkins University has named four prominent scientists as its newest Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, unique faculty positions created with a landmark $350 million gift from alumnus and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, to foster interdisciplinary collaboration across the institution’s many divisions.

Johns Hopkins Graduate Programs Rated among the Best by U.S. News

Johns Hopkins University graduate programs in education, medicine, public health and nursing and in individual disciplines such as biomedical engineering remain among the best in the nation, according to the newest U.S. News & World Report’s report on “Best Graduate Schools.”

Johns Hopkins 1st in Research Spending for 35th Straight Year

The Johns Hopkins University led the U.S. in higher education research spending for the 35th straight year in fiscal 2013, with $2.2 billion for medical, science and engineering research, according to the National Science Foundation.

Improved Suit for Ebola Caregivers Selected for Funding in Federal Competition

An advanced protective suit for health care workers who treat Ebola patients, devised by a Johns Hopkins team, is one of the first five awardees in a federal funding contest aimed at quickly devising new tools to combat the deadly disease. The Johns Hopkins prototype is designed to do a better job than current garments in keeping health care workers from coming in contact with Ebola patients’ contagious body fluids, both during treatment and while removing a soiled suit.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Traumatic Brain Injury Expert Available to Discuss the Mechanics of Concussion in Light of Lacrosse Helmet Recall

The recent decertification of two popular lacrosse helmets, the Warrior Regulator and the Cascade Model R, is causing concern for those involved in men’s lacrosse, one of the nation’s fastest-growing sports. The decertification by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment comes at a time of growing worries about concussions in athletes. At Johns Hopkins, engineers working at the forefront of traumatic brain injury research have created a novel “digital head” that is helping explain why some physical movements of the brain cause severe damage while others do not.

Twitter Posts May Shine a Fresh Light on Mental Illness Trends

Johns Hopkins computers scientists, who have already used Twitter posts to track flu cases, say their techniques also show promise as a tool to gather important information about some common mental illnesses. By reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders, the researchers say, they’ve been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

New Online 3-D Tool Seeks Possible Targets To Disable Ebola Virus

Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers have developed a free, browser-based online tool that could speed up the creation of new drugs to treat or prevent Ebola virus infections. The software, called MuPIT Ebola Edition, enables a researcher to visualize Ebola gene mutations in the context of three-dimensional protein structures. It also offers views of antibody binding sites called epitopes that are situated on protein surfaces. These sites may give researchers new targets for preventive vaccines and serums to treat those who are already infected.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Ebola Experts Available

The following Johns Hopkins University faculty members are available for perspective on the Ebola crisis.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Student Teams to Compete for Johns Hopkins Business Plan Prize Money on Friday, April 25

The nationally recognized Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Center for Leadership Education, encourages students to take a novel idea or innovative technology and develop a business plan around it. Student presentations and judging will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25, in Hodson Hall on the university’s Homewood campus.

When the Flu Bug Bites the Big Apple, Twitter Posts Can Tell the Tale

In recent years, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that tweets can help trace nationwide trends in flu outbreaks. Now, in a new study, a team from Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities has drilled even deeper, probing flu-related tweets from a single bustling metropolis: New York City. Twitter data, the team concluded, can accurately gauge the spread of flu at the local level, too.

Johns Hopkins Senior Anna Wherry Wins Marshall Scholarship

The 21-year-old, who is double majoring in public health in public health and anthropology, is one of 34 students chosen from the United States for the scholarship. She will enroll in Oxford University’s refugee and forced migration studies program and also pursue a masters in social anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.

Johns Hopkins Project Aims to help Mid-Atlantic combat Hurricanes, Heat Waves

The National Science Foundation has awarded Seth Guikema, a Johns Hopkins University assistant professor of geography and environmental engineering, a $3 million grant to build a program that will determine the effect of repeated hurricanes and heat waves on the Mid-Atlantic region and suggest ways to improve the region’s ability to withstand them.

Offering Economic Incentives to Attract Blood Donations Should Be Encouraged, Researchers Write in Science

Three researchers including Carey Business School Assistant Professor Mario Macis say economic incentives can motivate members of the public to increase their donations of much-needed blood, the economists write in the May 24, 2013, issue of Science.

Undergrads Adapt Video Game Unit to Help Save Kids Trapped In Overheated Cars

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: a young child is accidentally left in a locked car on a warm and sunny day. The closed windows turn the car into a greenhouse, and the child dies of heatstroke. In a key first step toward preventing such tragedies, three undergraduate engineering students at Johns Hopkins have turned technology from a popular video game player into a detector for children left behind in dangerously overheated vehicles.

Diagnosis: ‘Irrationality in Health Care’

The debate over American health care didn’t end with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now that the law is in place and its provisions are slowly becoming reality, the discussion has shifted to questions regarding whether the benefits are worth the costs, and whether we will actually be a healthier nation once every citizen has health insurance. Johns Hopkins University health economist Douglas E. Hough hopes his new book, which looks at the state of American health care through the lens of behavioral economics, will be helpful in framing this new wave of discourse in a more productive way.

Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School to Host Health Fair

The Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School have partnered to teach young students about the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise through a program called Food as Medicine. A special program event, the Safari of Health Fair, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the school on 701 E. 34th St. Baltimore, MD 21218.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Horse meat scandal in Europe

Two professors at The Johns Hopkins University are available to discuss the horse meat incident. They say a culinary taboo is a distraction from the real issue: inadequate food inspection regulations.

Using Twitter to Track the Flu: Researchers Find a Better Way to Screen the Tweets

Sifting through social media messages has become a popular way to track when and where flu cases occur, but a key hurdle hampers the process: how to identify flu-infection tweets. Some tweets are posted by people who have been sick with the virus, while others come from folks who are merely talking about the illness. If you are tracking actual flu cases, such conversations about the flu in general can skew the results. To address this problem, Johns Hopkins computer scientists and researchers in the School of Medicine have developed a new tweet-screening method that not only delivers real-time data on flu cases, but also filters out online chatter that is not linked to actual flu infections.